The stunning vistas of the Isle of Man attract lovers of nature, while history buffs will be in their element...
Look at a map and it appears as if the Isle of Man can't choose who it would rather run to, sitting as it does almost equidistantly between England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Actually, it is quite happy to stay just where it is and it embraces its independence, its own language, and its own government. Tour this unique part of Britain, which is known as Ellan Vannin in the Manx language, on short breaks from England and Northern Ireland, from where you can catch a ferry, or fly in and land at the Isle of Man Airport (IOM).
See castles and churches and tour the beautiful countryside and the rugged coastline. Tuck into the utterly distinctive local cuisine too. Boiled potatoes and herring has been the traditional dish of the working folk, but tourists love to try the odd combination of chips, cheese and gravy. Seafood is naturally a big hit with foodies too.
Isle of Man hotels range from cosy B&Bs and budget hotels to sprawling country estates...
Hotels in the Isle of Man are mostly concentrated around Douglas, the capital, which has a classic seaside feel about it. Check into grand hotels along the seafront or book guesthouses and bed and breakfast accommodation. To discover other hotels on the Isle of Man, look at destinations such as Peel, Ramsey, Castletown and Port Erin.
Across the main island there are many other hotels too, some surrounded by countryside and some perching on the shore.
How will you fill your time in the Isle of Man? See our suggestions for what to see...
There's a diverse mix of things to see and do on the Isle of Man.
Top five attractions
Isle of Man Steam Railway
The landscape changes with the seasons but the Victorian steam trains that chug through it have remained unchanged since the line opened in 1874. Everyone will enjoy a journey on this historic route in the south of the island.
Douglas Bay Horse Tramway
Ding ding, all aboard the horse-drawn tram which sweeps visitors along the seafront promenade of Douglas. Children love the clip-clop of the hooves as the tram trundles along.
See the largest working waterwheel in the world, standing at an impressive 22 metres tall in the village of Laxey.
It's the Isle of Man's highest peak, at 620 metres; reach the top on foot or take the scenic Snaefell Mountain Railway, which runs from Laxey to the summit.
House of Manannan
Learn about the history of the Isle of Man with the assistance of mythical sea god Manannan at this museum in Peel. You'll discover all you could want to know about the isle's Celtic and Viking roots, as well as its maritime past.
The annual calendar is dominated by one thing, but there are a few other events worth exploring...
The Isle of Man TT lures thousands of spectators and riders, so expect hotels across the Isle of Man to be extremely busy during this two-week festival of speed.
Walking Festival; May: You can tour the vistas of the Isle of Man on foot at any time of the year, though this event offers guided walks and social gatherings alongside the hiking. It's a popular event so it's best to book your hotel as early as possible.
The Isle of Man TT; May-June: The island is transformed when bikers rev up and speed through the hills and valleys at speeds of nearly 200mph. If this doesn't interest you in the slightest, you would be wise to take your break in the Isle of Man at another time.
Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival; September: Taste buds are tickled during this two-day feast, which attracts large crowds and celebrity chefs. There's much more to Isle of Man cuisine than chips, cheese and gravy!